This time twelve years ago, I was driving out of downtown Jacksonville, Florida when a thunderstorm was fast approaching. We had recently moved there and I didn’t know my way around yet. I had just left a job interview and I was leaving downtown in the 5:00 traffic.
Ominous dark clouds formed overhead, followed by thunder and lightning. The rain fell hard, blinding my windshield. Brake lights in front of me turned to hazard lights as cautious drivers proceeded slowly while eighteen wheelers barreled by blinding my windshield beyond swiping.
I made my way off an exit and pulled into a parking lot to wait for the storm to pass. I retrieved a map from the glove box to try and determine how to get home. The rain had to stop in order for me to see what street I was on. I had no cellphone and no GPS.
Map reading has never been something I was good at. But that day, I held back tears in order to focus. I was a big girl, I was 29, I could handle this. The rain subsided, I drove to an intersection so I could read the signs and I pulled over again.
I figured out where I needed to go and I drove myself to familiar territory. The darkness of the storm was behind me as I drove into “another world” where it had not rained and the sky was clear.
I did get the job, but I never left downtown with a storm was approaching and I didn’t brave the highway home for a few months.
In 2012, I am so dependent on technology. After eight years of living in the same area I still use the GPS to follow directions to places I have been before. Sometimes the installed GPS doesn’t have the address or it has steered me wrong and I have to use my cellphone or listen to someone give me turn by turn directions. CRUTCHES.
I asked my dad if he would want a GPS for Father’s Day. He asked me, “What for?” There are several ways to take the four hour drive from his house to mine. One would save him about fifteen minutes. But he knows how to get here one way, and it works for him. He asked me to just tell him how to get here the other way. Um...I would rather him get here his way than to have him call me for the turn by turn. We would both be lost.
Here’s the thing... I drive with crutches. In 2012, I would cry if I had to read a map to determine my location in the middle of a bad storm. I may not be exaggerating to say I would feel the same way if I didn't have my crutches and got lost on a beautiful day.
Do you have a crutch - something you could do without but won't take the chance?